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Letting it Go on The Good Wife

11 May

In The Good Wife finale Alicia talks about how losing the election finally allowed her the chance to let go of anger, jealousy and not caring about what other people think. The latter is not so set in stone as she spent part of the last episode wearing a hat as a way to go incognito and there are several things this week that point very much in the direction of caring. It is an important sentiment nonetheless as the impact of the election scandal has given Alicia the chance to reassess where she is with her career and how she feels about the scrutiny of being in the public eye.

The Good Wife  6.22 Alicia and PeterThe latter comes into play when Peter tells Alicia he is going to run for president – which is met with laughter from Alicia until she realizes he is being serious – not as a viable candidate for this position, instead vying for the veep spot. The big family conference about this has Zach reacting in the same way, but his chuckles are far friendlier towards his father with Grace taking on a more concerned approach while also asking the big question about this now pretend marriage. The camera lingers on Alicia as she takes in her daughter’s reaction noting how it instantly makes Grace uncomfortable. Peter points out they aren’t pretending as they are still married and yet Alicia is quick to acknowledge the charade.

This prompts her to pull Peter to one side telling him she can see through this whole thing; he has already decided and really this is all pomp and ceremony asking for approval from his wife and children. He claims otherwise so Alicia tells him she doesn’t approve of this run for political office as it is just inviting the press in once again (how many times is this now?) to tear them to shreds and put unnecessary pressure on their kids (and especially Grace).

The Good Wife 6.22 Alicia and KalindaOne thing Alicia does on multiple occasions is tell people how she really feels in a super calm fashion from Peter to Lemond Bishop’s lawyer Lester as he tries to intimidate her – Wallace Shawn is so terrific in this role – and we even get the big chat with Kalinda; in a bar and with the long ago tradition of tequila shots. I spoke about the leather clad elephant in the room last week and it is impossible to talk about this scene without mentioning how something seemed off and by off it has a certain Orphan Black quality in both the wide and over the camera angles. It sucks that a scene as important as this in a relationship that at one point was the heart of the show has come down to this and that behind the scene rumblings mean this whole moment was underscored with external distraction. Please Good Wife oral history fill us in on what really happened. I didn’t want to have to address this stuff again and yet it is impossible when the sight lines don’t quite match up. But I do want to discuss the sentiment of the scene because it is important to who these characters are/were.

Kalinda’s final season storyline has been all over the place with her involvement with Bishop as her exit arc. It has also been clear they have struggled with this character for some time now, dating back to the introduction of her awful ex Nick. Alicia has never really had that many friends as she tends to be pretty closed off and protective of herself. Some of this stems from how those closest to her turned their backs when the whole Peter scandal happened, but there have been some exceptions. These close relationships have included the romantic (Will, maybe Finn), ones that were for political strategizing (looking at you Maura Tierney), others have been hampered by romance (oh hey Amanda Peet) or have been more about work (Diane and Cary). With Kalinda it was different and Alicia let her guard down over shots of tequila in bars and drinking beer in bed; this makes the whole thing all the more bittersweet.

In this bar scene Alicia discusses how it is nice not to care since the scandal and ultimately how she misses spending time in bars with Kalinda. Kalinda also uses this moment to point out how their time together was the best she had and she messed it up. The way this is discussed is like exes coming back together to talk about the good times and where it went wrong; as I have mentioned on several occasions friendship breakups can be more devastating than romantic ones. With Alicia and Kalinda it was a double whammy as it involved a romantic betrayal of sorts and killed two relationships for Alicia. Even though they are sharing the same space I found the previous version of their goodbye to have a greater tear filled impact on me, maybe because there were less distractions present.

The Good Wife 6.22 KalindaSo long Kalinda, you deserved better. But you still look fantastic in leather and sunglasses. Make sure you take a baseball bat with you.

Alicia’s position of not caring about what other people think is put into question in relation to getting sucked back into the political sphere again with Peter’s presidential bid and the memoir commissioned as a way to soften Alicia’s public persona. The concern from Alicia is that she is being remade as a homemaker or rather as ‘the good wife’ and this is far from something she is comfortable or even a little okay with. Alicia is calm and steadfast in how she refuses to give Eli anything that he wants from her or wants her to be setting up one conflict for next season.

Another comes in the form of Alicia’s new firm and after Finn accepts her partnership offer he later recants after they have successfully won their first case together. They make an excellent team in court and over drinks; work is one thing but the sexual tension is too much and Finn can see something bad happening. By bad he means something very good, right? Okay he is being professional and he also happens to be trying things again with his ex-wife so spending this much time with Alicia in bars, alone in her car or at her apartment is maybe not the best way to aid this reconciliation or even start a professional partnership. But it still doesn’t stop me from yelling “KISS HIM” at the screen as he continually makes his excuses to go. I am only human after all. The back and forth between them has been pretty consistent and Finn references this when he explains why they can’t work together; hopefully Matthew Goode will be back next season to explore the notion of “not always do or don’t.”

The Good Wife 6.22 Alicia and FinnAlicia explains that she doesn’t want to work alone and she doesn’t have to as Louis Canning is there at the end to offer partnership; a partnership fueled by anger at Cary, Diane and David Lee because they fired his wife from their firm. Simone got a job by using her maiden name and while Diane is more than fine with her working there both Cary and David Lee raise concerns and their majority wins. In a heartbreaking scene Simone tearfully tries to get Diane to reconsider (she isn’t the issue) with “I did this on my own. This was me.” Simone like Alicia has a surname which comes with preconceived ideas.

In the finale Diane doesn’t really have a great deal to do except purse her lips in frustration at her partners. Hopefully there will be far more for her next year (same goes for Cary), but in the meantime here is one final Diane Lockhart costume parade for the season.

The Good Wife 6.22  Diane and CaryGiving good ‘what?!’ face with Cary in striking white and bold red lip color.

The Good Wife 6.22 DianeThe power necklace offers no support in her argument to keep Simone. Maybe stick to the chunky chain link ones in the future when fighting these kinds of battles.

The Good Wife 6.22 Diane LockhartExcellent lip color and jacket combination but none of this is helping against Louis Canning’s threats to pull this firm apart. I think Diane is regretting her partner choice.

All signs point to Canning teaming up with Alicia and considering how she left the firm she created there is a chance she will get on board with his scheme, except I can’t see her wanting to destroy either Cary or Diane. While this finale isn’t as strong as previous ones (and as the season was so all over the place it would have been very hard to deliver a slam dunk episode) it does do a good job of tying up the loose ends while also setting up conflicts for next year. Now the Kalinda storyline has been wrapped up we might get a more streamlined (maybe final) season as we continue the education of Alicia Florrick.

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7 Responses to “Letting it Go on The Good Wife”

  1. Kathy May 11, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

    I know many viewers bemoaned the Alicia and Kalinda friendship, and I quite enjoyed it the first two seasons. Still, it never made sense to me how any woman could be expected to renew a close friendship with the woman who slept with her husband and then became best friends with her. The show was created with this storyline in mind, and the Kings could not have anticipated the chemistry between Margulies and Panjabi when it was developed.

    As for whether Margulies and Panjabi were filmed together in their final scene? It really doesn’t matter to me. I am more interested in how the show will be moving forward, and I would be surprised if Alicia partnered up with Canning. Isn’t he what she is trying to move away from? I could see Simone working with Alicia though.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  5. Alicia Florrick’s Funk and Friendships on The Good Wife: How One Can Stop the Other and Save the Season | TV Ate My Wardrobe - February 1, 2016

    […] the seasons. Kalinda was first to go after the Peter reveal and this friendship never recovered (off screen and green screen shenanigans did not help either), things have always been pretty patchy with Diane no matter how much I long […]

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